Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Gore Vidal (Nation), Bernie Sanders (Joel Bleifuss, In These Times), CounterRecuiter (military moves in on middle schools); Rebecca Romani LeftTurn

Asked to predict who would win in '04, I said that, again, Bush would lose, but I was confident that in the four years between 2000 and 2004 creative propaganda and the fixing of election officials might very well be so perfected as to insure an official victory for Mr. Bush. As Representative Conyers's report, Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio (www.house.gov/conyers), shows in great detail, the swing state of Ohio was carefully set up to deliver an apparent victory for Bush even though Kerry appears to have been the popular winner as well as the valedictorian-that-never-was of the Electoral College.
I urge would-be reformers of our politics as well as of such anachronisms as the Electoral College to read Conyers's valuable guide on how to steal an election once you have in place the supervisor of the state's electoral process: In this case, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who orchestrated a famous victory for those who hate democracy (a permanent but passionate minority). The Conyers Report states categorically, "With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio." In other words, the Florida 2000 scenario redux, when the chair for Bush/Cheney was also the Secretary of State. Lesson? Always plan ahead for at least four more years.
It is well-known in the United States of Amnesia that not only did Ohio have a considerable number of first-time voters but that Blackwell and his gang, through "the misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters."

Marci sent in the above, from The Nation, Gore Vidal's "Something Rotten in Ohio."

Sherry e-mails to note, from In These Times, Joel Bleifuss' "Sanders Steps Up: The representative for the rest of us sets his sights on the Senate:"

Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has said that he plans to seek the Vermont Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) in 2006.
Judging from his popularity, Sanders' election is all but assured. If he takes office, he will become the Senate's most progressive member.

That sets the stage for Bleifuss' interview with Sanders.

Lloyd e-mails to note, from CounterRecuriter, "The Children’s Crusade: Military Programs Move Into Middle Schools to Fish for Future Soldiers:"

From In These Times: Tarsha Moore stands as tall as her 4-foot 8-inch frame will allow. Staring straight ahead, she yells out an order to a squad of peers lined up in three perfect columns next to her. Having been in the military program for six years, Tarsha has earned the rank of captain and is in charge of the 28 boys and girls in her squad. This is Lavizzo Elementary School. Tarsha is 14.

Francisco e-mails to note Rebecca Romani' "'Leave My Child Alone' Movement Gaining Ground" from LeftTurn:

Twenty miles north in Carlsbad, dozens of people turned out to hear speakers and to fill out opt out forms, according to Jeeni Criscenzo, a member of the North County Peace and Justice Coalition who coordinated the event with MMOD. The opt out form is provided for in section 9528, A, 1. of the No Child Left Behind Act, in part, because school receiving federal funding are required to provide the following: “1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION- Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings…” in addition to granting recruiters physical access to the campus or lose much needed federal funds. (http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg112.html) The opt out form makes the child’s information unavailable to military recruiters and puts the child on a do not call list.

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